Health and Wellness, Stress

Stress affecting your digestive health? How acupuncture can help

By Dr. Alyssa Cochrane, DTCM

In these unprecedented times, with many external stressors impacting our emotional and physical wellbeing, often our digestion can suffer from imbalance and uncomfortable symptoms.

This can take a toll on pre-existing conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which can present with loose stools, constipation, or alternating stools, cramping, pain and gas, or Crohns Disease, which can have symptoms such as constipation or persistent diarrhea, urgency, cramping, loss of appetite, and fatigue.

Additionally, those who do not have a pre-existing condition may find that they notice that stress, overthinking, mental fatigue, and worry can affect their digestion. This can manifest as craving certain foods (such as increased desire for sugar and greasy foods), it can cause negative responses to certain foods, and alter overall digestion and energy.

Treating Digestive Health with Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an effective mode of treatment because it works with the body by stimulating the nervous system, is known to help decrease inflammation, increase gut motility, and has a calming effect on the mind.

It is a system that looks at the entire body to understand the bigger picture, with even the most minute detail, such as the patient’s preferred flavour of food, used to build a customized approach to health. This makes it an ideal complementary treatment to help work on the symptoms of many digestive complaints.

These symptoms can include anything from pain and bloating, to irregular bowel movements and borborygmus (noisy digestion/gurgling). Treatment can include modalities such as acupuncture, cupping and the use of ear seeds to stimulate acupoints on the ears to help extend the benefit of treatment.

Dr. Alyssa Cochrane has a passion for working with patients to improve digestive health and reduce the uncomfortable symptoms that can come with impaired digestion and stress in the body. She has seen success with treating digestive symptoms, with one of her patients saying:

Since Dr. Alyssa Cochrane has been working on me, my digestion flare ups are becoming less and less frequent.  I also have terrible bloating and I would feel better within the hour of her needling me.  She has worked on several different ailments and I have always been very happy with the results. "

- Laura S.

Book with Dr. Alyssa Cochrane, Registered Acupuncturist

If you are suffering from digestive issues and need help to manage uncomfortable symptoms, or work to reduce stress, book an acupuncture treatment with Dr. Cochrane!

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Song, G., Fiocchi, C., & Achkar, J. (2019, July). Acupuncture in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Inflammatory Bowel Disease, 25(7), 1129-1139. doi:

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